KLCI gains 8.64pts as Asian stocks rise on US job report

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 8): The FBM KLCI rose 8.64 points or 0.5%, tracking Asian stock market gains on news the US added more jobs than expected last month.

At 5pm, the KLCI closed at its intraday high of 1,672.68 points. Across Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 2.44% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.57%.

Reuters reported that Asian stocks rose to one-year highs and the Australian dollar climbed on Monday as investors' hunt for yield gathered momentum against the backdrop of a recovering US economy and ultra-easy global monetary policy conditions.

The US Department of Labor said July nonfarm payrolls rose by 255,000 and revised the June increase upward to 292,000. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast July payrolls would increase by 180,000.

In Malaysia, Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd analyst Kenneth Leong told theedgemarkets.com that "investors would continue to look for clues on the US Federal Reserve's interest rate decision" following the US's employment numbers.

The US employment report is a crucial indicator of the country's economy, hence offering clues on the direction of US interest rates.

In Malaysia, Leong said investors had been following construction sector news. He said investors could expect more newsflow from the sector as the award of Pan Borneo Highway and Sungai Besi-Ulu Kelang Elevated Expressway contracts had started in recent weeks.

Today, Bursa Malaysia saw 2.63 billion shares worth RM1.85 billion traded. Gainers beat decliners at 455 against 370.

British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd was the top gainer while leading decliner was Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd. Malaysia Building Society Bhd was the most actively-traded stock.